Cubot X18 Plus Review
We had the opportunity to get a sneak preview of the technical characteristics of the Cubot X18 Plus. Today we will be reviewing a device that surprised me, in a positive sense, in more than one aspect. The features are pretty good, but what was top of the list was the presence of Android Oreo.
Let’s find out what it has to offer – at a rather affordable price.
The Cubot X18 Plus packaging comes in white cardboard, with a photo of the device printed on the front. The back part displays the technical specifications.
Inside the package we find the smartphone, already in a transparent TPU cover, a USB charger and a USB cable to micro USB (both white). Finally, the sim / microSD extractor pin.
The wall charger does not allow fast charging, but its power is 5V / 2A, which charges the device in a couple of hours. The cable, despite being microUSB, is flat, meaning that you avoid any tangles or unwanted knots. I particularly appreciated this feature because it minimizes any damage to the cable and makes it even easier to tidy.
Unfortunately, there are no headphones, despite the Cubot X18 Plus having the classic Jack input. It would certainly have been nice to find a pair of headphones inside the package.
- Processor: MTK6750T 1.5GHz Octa Core
- GPU: Mali T860 MP2
- Display: 18:9, 5.99″, FHD+ 2160×1080 , IPS, 403PPI
- RAM: 4GB
- ROM: 64GB, expandable to 128GB with microSD
- OS: Android 8.0 Oreo
- Camera: 20MP + 2MP Double rear camera, 13MP front camera
- Sim Card: dual nano sim, option of 2 nano sims / 1 nano sim with microSD
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS + GLONASS
- Battery: 4000mAh
- Other: Fingerprint scanner, radio FM
- Dimensions / Weight: 3×15.8×0.8 cm, 185gr
- Network: 2G: GSM 1800MHz,GSM 1900MHz,GSM 850MHz,GSM 900MHz – 3G: WCDMA B1 2100MHz,WCDMA B8 900MHz – 4G LTE: FDD B1 2100MHz,FDD B20 800MHz,FDD B3 1800MHz,FDD B7 2600MHz,FDD B8 900MHz
As you can see from the above features, the Cubot X18 Plus looks good on paper. The FullHD+ resolution on a 5.99 “display guarantees an excellent level of detail. The double rear-facing camera also allows the bokeh effect. In fact, the function of the secondary camera should provide good field depth, although in reality I didn’t find this particularly good. The device is optimised for 800MHz, which means that we can connect to the LTE bandwidth available in some areas. The battery is 4000mAh.
In this price range, it is also very difficult to find devices that have already been updated to Android Oreo 8.0. Cubot X18 Plus presents, in fact, a completely version, free from unnecessary software. There is also FM radio, which is an increasingly rare gem these days.
In general, the device is nothing to shout about when it comes to the build quality and materials. In the hand, the X18 Plus is pretty comfortable though, despite the size of the display.
The front is a 5.99 “display, with rounded corners that I personally like very much. The lower and upper frames are slightly thicker than the renderings above. The format – 18:9 – is now a trend so followed that seeing a device with a different format is almost completely unheard of. There are no buttons, and at the top you find the receiver, the front camera, a notification LED and the light sensor and the proximity sensor. The body-to-display ratio is very high, the LED flash is not adjustable and the colour for notifications is red.
The back is finished in shiny plastic. It holds prints and gets dirty easily. There’s also a bit of give if you give it a squeeze, which is a bit concerning for this price range. The back is the thing that I liked least in terms of the aesthetics of this device. The choice of the material amplifies the feeling that this is an economy model. At the back there is also the double camera, placed vertically in the centre, with the LED flash on the right and the fingerprint reader, which is circular, located below. The fingerprint reader is placed in a comfortable and easy-to-reach position, which is pretty convenient.
The left side is completely keyless; you’ll only find the SIM compartment. This is placed at the top left. The right side has the volume keys and the power button. The top part has the headphone jack input, and in the lower parts you’ll find the holes for the mic, the speaker box and the microUSB port for charging.
The display is a good IPS and the distance between LCD and glass is not huge. Whites tend to fade very lightly to yellow. The black is not absolute, being slightly gray, however, the contrasts are good and the colors are bright. The display, even from an angle, can be seen well and the colors do not change. As I said before, the corners of the display follow the profile of the body, rather than creating right angles. This small detail adds to the aesthetically pleasing overview.
The Cubot X18 Plus has a double rear camera, with a resolution of 20 + 2MP. The second camera is used for the blur effect, which is typically the case within this price range. The focus is generally slow and the quality of the shots is average. But when you go to zoom in on the photos, they are slightly pasty. For devices in this price range, you can’t really expect more though, and indeed this is still above the quality that I would have expected.
The HDR is available as an option, so it does not automatically activate. The presence or absence of the HDR function doesn’t really bring a substantial increase of photo quality though:
The in-call audio is not particularly loud: you can hear, but I always had to keep the volume at its maximum. During the calls, the receivers told me that the audio was not always optimal. It happened more than once that I was asked if I was talking on speakerphone. The speaker is mono and of pretty poor quality. The sounds are quite muffled and you always hear a slight background noise when listening to music.
The battery life is excellent; I managed to go for a day and a half without charging. During intense use, you can still manage a day with a bit of charge left over. During use, the device does heat up slightly. If you watch videos using the cellular network, the device has a tendency to overheat, which can be felt across the whole cover.
Generally, the Cubot x18 Plus boasts good hardware for the price range. It’s responsive; much more so than many other Chinese brands in the same price range and even above. I had fun using it and I had no problems.
I believe that one more step could be taken with regards to aesthetics and the choice of materials. Perhaps keep the same shape, but with a non-glossy plastic, and this would really improve the overall feel. The device fits well in your hand, and isn’t particularly heavy.
The cameras, both rear and front, are functional. Of course, we aren’t talking about the top of the range, but slightly fuzzy photos are normal in this price range.
The audio is perhaps the most lacking aspect. When listening to music, the Cubot experience is poor.
The battery life is good, never once running out before the end of the day.
I also found the fingerprint reader to be very reliable. It must be said that the reader is might need occasional cleaning, because it gets dirty easily because of the material, and could therefore fail to read.